HillBilly Circus

Most of my life, I thought a “well-informed” person should read at least one weekly news-magazine, read a daily newspaper (or more), tune in nightly news broadcasts and listen to a broad range of current-issue radio presentations. After carefully consuming “news” via reading / listening / watching multiple news resources as well as analyzing and evaluating issues, I realize the term “well-informed” can be misleading. I’ve found the freedom to unplug!oldtimeradio

The newspaper was the first to go. I spent entirely too much time everyday … morning coffee eased into mid-morning coffee and even midday. (My thought process went like this:  as long as I held a cup of coffee in my hand, it was still “breakfast.“) About ten years ago, I was ready to cancel delivery, except my Beloved insisted on keeping it. We continue to subscribe but now the accumulation of papers just annoys me. Continue Reading →

Reflected Glory

Back in the 1990s, a number of books landed on the bestsellers lists relating various aspects (and viewpoints) on the male-female communication divide. Deborah Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand explained boys and girls approach language and communication differently. John Gray’s Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus offered a similar take … men and women perceive the world differently and naming those differences helps promote successful communication.

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

As we continue through The Book of Job, it’s becoming clearer that Job and his comforters (though not from either Mars or Venus) have been mis-communicating. In part, they may have been saying the same thing, but not successfully enough to reach a level of true understanding. Perhaps you’ve experienced the same thing? I know I have. Admittedly, it’s often because I’m more concerned about making a certain critical point. Perhaps Job’s friends were doing the same … and that’s why the first half of the books seems so repetitive. Continue Reading →

Flying Solo

An item in my email this week caught my attention. With wedding season gearing up, my credit union sent an email hawking what they characterized as “EverydayLife Loans” providing extra cash for the big events of life. Naturally, the promotion drew my attention.Wedding Loan

Yeah, those “big events” tend to be costly nowadays and the credit union is there to help … including “expenses for your wedding, honeymoon and all the little things along the way.” With rates as low as 8.75% APR, the picture (shown below) showed a celebratory bride and groom and the tag line:  “One less thing to worry about.

Continue Reading →

Back To The 60s Again

For as long as I can remember, music has been an integral part of my life. Two other posts in this space (here and here) offer some background. Because I’m also a product of the 1960s, there’s a certain genre of music that shaped my life just as it shaped the lives of most in my baby-boomer generation.rocknrollOne of the things I love about YouTube is the availability of so many tunes from the 60s era. Somewhere in storage, we have an ancient record player/changer as well as a stack of long-play albums that we probably haven’t played in at least twenty years … probably longer! We’re unlikely to ever play the albums again (assuming the record player actually still worked) but disposing of the records won’t happen either. (Feel sorry for our heirs!) Continue Reading →

Too Beautiful To Hold

On Tuesday, my post referred to a poem (Spring) written by Pulitzer Prize recipient (1923), poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). According to some literary sources, her sonnets are among the best of the early twentieth century. One particular poem I’ve loved many a year is not a true sonnet but still a top-notch and memorable composition in my opinion. It’s pictured below.

God's World - Millay

FROM: http://tiny.cc/t575wx

From the moment I first read this poem, Vincent’s ecstasy and amazement showcased in this poem made a connection with me. (I think I might have been in high school at the time.) This poem stands in stark contrast to Spring. Whereas Spring gives a contrary and cynical view of Nature, the rapture and pure pleasure expressed in God’s World supplies Vincent’s surprising yang to the yin that infuses Spring. So enraptured is Vincent in God’s World, she suggests her passion would necessarily overflow if something as simple as a bird call sounded on her ears.

Continue Reading →

Fire in the Hole

Saying goodbye … it’s an inevitable part of life. When one says goodbye to fictional characters, it shouldn’t be a wrenching loss – unless the characters are so well-drawn and true to life, they’ve become embedded in your life. This kind of goodbye doesn’t just represent a closed book of characters but also the way in which these characters have colored one’s point of view.justified-season-2_shootThe FX Network show Justified aired its finale last night following a six-season run. Truthfully, I hated to have the show end, but its final episode hit every note with perfect pitch and stunning narrative grace notes. Without giving away any spoilers, I can’t imagine any show ending with better symmetry and poetic precision. Continue Reading →

Lightly Turned Fancy

When Spring arrives every year, one finds there’s a great deal of poetic utterance devoted to one or another aspect of the season. There is, in the season, a wealth of subjects on which the poet might reflect and celebrate. I’ve read poems (old and new) that extol the freshly-blossoming flowers … as well as freshly-blossoming love.spring-season

In his poem Locksley Hall, Alfred, Lord Tennyson famously noted:

In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin’s breast;
In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;

In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove;
In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

In truth, only the fourth line above could be described with the “famously” adverb. That particular line is often quoted. Not being a man, I can’t speak specifically to Tennyson’s observation, except to say it is a lovely line in a much longer, rich and emotional work produced with 97 rhyming couplets. Continue Reading →

Out of the Gate!

The horse-race has begun! Can’t you just feel the anticipation? The excitement? The hotly-contested, fiercely-competitive quest for the checkered flag … er, the green jacket … er, the stretched-out tape at the finish line … er, the party’s nod to run for President – that doesn’t necessarily mean victory and White House residency.andtheyreoff

You may actually have enthusiasm for this renewed political season to be kicking off … I’m not. I knew it would be upon us soon enough, but I’ve dreaded hearing various candidates announce they’re launching their campaigns. It seems as though the wall-to-wall nature of media and news has spawned a monster, like a massive and disgusting tapeworm that devours from within. Continue Reading →

The Just and the Unjust

There’s an innate desire in our psyche when it comes to knowing an evildoer has been quickly and properly punished. Take the recent guilty verdict rendered in the trial of the 2013 Boston Marathon bomber. As soon as the verdict came down last week, Twitter came alive with condemnations about the still-living perpetrator, stating it would be good for him to get “a taste of his own medicine” or “will he lose his head?” Others emphatically demanded the death penalty.

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

The biblical patriarch Job expresses similar inclinations in Job chapter 24. The chapter begins with Job asking another penetrating question:  why doesn’t the Almighty set certain specific days for judgment? I think he asks this question in part because he believes people want to know and be assured that evil actors are receiving retribution for their wickedness! If God would set aside the first day of each month to mete out judgment on evildoers, the rest of us could at least have satisfaction knowing it’s been done. Continue Reading →

Taxing Day

Some Saturdays are entertaining and filled with fun. Today (for me) wasn’t one of those Saturdays. Attempting to get a head-start on my usual April 15th scramble, I carved out today to get the annual torment completed. And, much as I expected, the tedious exercise took the best part of my day. (Can anyone say Fair Tax or Flat Tax?)taxesNo, I’m not going to moan and complain in this space. I probably couldn’t because after spending the day with my eyes glued to a computer screen and to a variety of small-print tax forms and instruction booklets, my brain is fried anyway.

Besides, it’s National Poetry Month! Would I really allow myself to be driven into the doldrums by taxes when they’re not the only game in town? Continue Reading →

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